penetrate, the crop in some seasons is a failure, and foul brood is prevalent. While large areas of the swamp are dry, except for a few farmers in the marginal portion it is uninhabited. Most of the surface consists of recently formed peat. The predominant types of vegetation are black tupelo, white tupelo, red maple, sweet bay, and a variety of shrubs. The shores of Lake Drummond, near the center of the swamp, are bordered by moss-hung cypress-trees; but the cypress, white cedar, and pine growing in this region are of no value to the beekeeper.
The Piedmont Plateau occupies about 18,000 square miles in the center of the state, rising at the foot of the Blue Ridge to an elevation of 700 to 1200 feet above the level of the sea. It was formerly covered with oak, which is now partly replaced by a second growth of pine. Thousands of acres of tobacco are grown in the central and southern portions of this section. The only honey plants which yield a large surplus are tulip tree and sourwood, the latter being less valuable here than among the mountains. Tulip tree blossoms in May, when the weather is often cold and rainy. Sourwood is likely to be a total failure one year in four. Other honey plants are white clover, alsike clover, sumac, black locust, catalpa. goldenrod. asters, maples, cowpeas, persimmon, blue thistle, buckbush, and buckwheat.
The bee yards in the northern part of the Piedmont Plateau are mostly small, averaging from 30 to 50 pounds of honey. In the eastern counties of this section the beekeepers as a rule give little attention to either apparatus or methods, using box hives or hollow logs.
The best part of the Piedmont Plateau is the region directly east of the Blue Ridge Mountains. There are several commercial apiaries in Pittsylvania County, and the average surplus in a good year is 40 or 50 pounds. There are from 12 to 15 smaller yards within a radius of five miles, but the locality is not fully stocked. A large quantity of honey-dew is gathered in some years, especially from the young shoots of pine trees. In the foothills sourwood yields a fine flow in July. Buckwheat, which blooms in the same month, is also reliable. One of the best sections of Virginia for beekeeping is the Piedmont Plateau in the vicinity of the sourwood ranges, where there are also white clover, sumac, and sometimes buckbush and blue thistle. In Halifax County, on the south border, conditions are less favorable, and the fall flow is apt to be completely ruined, the weather being either too wet or too dry. However, in 1925, Henry W. Weatherford, who lives in this county, was reported to have taken off an average of about 60 pounds of honey previous to June 8.
The mountainous region covers about 12,900 square miles. Its eastern boundary is the Blue Ridge, an imposing chain of mountains which crosses the state from northeast to southwest. West of the Blue Ridge lies the Great Limestone Valley of Virginia, about 20 miles wide, embracing nearly 7500 square miles, with a fertile clay loam, the most productive section of the state. The northern part of this valley, drained by the Shenandoah River, is known as the Valley of the Shenandoah. Apples, peaches, and pears flourish in the greatest abundance throughout the valley, especially in the northern counties, and a super of apple honey is obtained in favorable seasons. Blue thistle, or viper’s bugloss (Echium vulgare), was formerly very common, and an important source of nectar; but, although still valuable, it is steadily disappearing with the extension of cultivation.
While there are a good many small or moderate-sized apiaries in Frederick and Clarke counties, there appear to be very few beekeepers who specialize in this industry. European foul brood, introduced from New York, has helped to destroy the colonies. The surplus, which comes from white clover, blue thistle, and sumac, averages in a good year about 30 pounds. Forty years ago this country had a great quantity of white clover, blue thistle, sumac, and aster; but with more intensive